14 "For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15 to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17 In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18 But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20 Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.' 21 His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' 22 And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.' 23 His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' 24 Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' 26 But his master replied, 'You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29 For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30 As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
Thoughts: What would have encouraged the wicked and lazy servant to be a better steward? He thought his master was 1) Harsh and 2) taking more than he gave. Too many see God as harsh and demanding instead of seeing God as patient and giving- and we are the ones who take God's gifts and hide them or worse use them up selfishly. Everything we have is a gift from Him. Nothing we have is from ourselves. All that we see is made by Him. Christians are called to be people who are not afraid to take risks- living by faith. In a time of fear, Christians are called to be people of hope. After an election, it remains to be seen how those elected will use their talents. Calvin might say that all believers are elected and are called to use their talents wisely.
Prayer: Lord, Help me to be a person who believes in your generosity, and imitates your generosity. Help me to be a good steward.
John Calvin abridged: In this parable Christ compares himself to a nobleman who is gone on a long journey. He does not want the disciples to expect an immediate kingdom, but rather a long journey with many toils. Chirst gives one a small amount and another a large amount. The Lord does not give to each of us the same quantity of gifts (Eph. 4:7; 1 Cor. 12:11- "distributes them variously as He things proper"). Whether we are given much or little we are all still called to account for how we use what we have been given by God. It would not make sense to hide the gifts, or refuse to use them, so that they do not yield fruit for Him.